Allahabad: Expressing strong "displeasure" over an instance of interference in a civil dispute by Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court has held that members of the Cabinet "should not interfere in matters pending in court".
A Division Bench comprising justices Sunil Ambwani and Aditya Nath Mittal passed the order on March 13 while disposing of a petition filed by Nanhe Khan of Rampur district.
The petitioner had asked for directions to concerned authorities so that his possession of on a piece of disputed land could be "restored".
Nanhe had alleged that a tin-shed that he had erected on the land was demolished by policemen under the supervision of the Sub Divisional Magistrate concerned at the instance of Azam Khan.
The petitioner claimed that Azam had sent a note on January 1 this year directing the SDM to "look into the matter and take steps after verifying the registry".
Khan had also alleged that the note was sent by the minister following a complaint by one Imroz Khan, who claimed to have purchased the disputed land through a sale deed and with whom he (Nanhe Khan) was involved in a civil suit pending at a court in Rampur.
However, the state government`s counsel claimed that the tin-shed was not pulled down by policemen accompanying the SDM, as claimed by the petitioner.
Rather, it was "found demolished" by the Circle Officer concerned when he reached the spot on February 14 after receiving information that there was "a possibility of breach of peace between the two parties", he said.
The court disposed of the petition saying "we should not interfere in the matter at this stage".
However, the court expressed its displeasure over the "manner in which the ministers are interfering in civil disputes."
"Before parting with the matter, we may observe and record our displeasure in the manner in which the ministers are interfering in civil disputes," the court said, pointing towards the note of Azam Khan addressed to the SDM.
"Such a note is likely to be misused to influence the executive officers as directions to be carried out by them.
"The ministers should concern themselves with the public duties assigned to them and should not interfere in the matters which are pending in the court," the court remarked.